Rainbow Trout


5 from 98 votes
Jump to RecipeJump to Video

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure policy.

This pan-seared rainbow trout recipe cooks in less than 10 minutes. It’s flaky and tender and comes with multiple cooking options.

Love cooking with white fish? Try my baked halibut, grilled tilapia, grilled Mahi Mahi, and Chilean sea bass next.

rainbow trout recipe.

You may have noticed rainbow trout appearing in more and more fishmongers and grocery stores, and I’m living for it. It’s been one of my family’s favorite fish, and while I have a slew of rainbow trout recipes, my pan-seared version is the best for anyone new to cooking this flavorful fish.

What is Rainbow trout?

Rainbow trout is a delicate fish with either white, red, or orange flesh (no, it is not multicolored as the name suggests!). It has a mild, somewhat nutty flavor, and thanks to its soft and flaky texture, it’s a fantastic seafood to introduce to kids or those who are skeptical of fish. 

Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this recipe
  2. Ingredients needed
  3. How to cook rainbow trout
  4. Alternative cooking methods
  5. Arman’s recipe tips
  6. Storage instructions
  7. Frequently asked questions
  8. More delicious seafood dinners
  9. Seared Rainbow Trout Recipe (Recipe Card)

Why I love this recipe

  • Quick and easy. From prep to plate, this fish cooks up in less than 10 minutes.
  • Super versatile. Like with my grilled swordfish, I like to keep the seasonings simple with just some salt and pepper, but it’s easy to change up depending on what you are craving!
  • Healthy. Rainbow trout is full of omega-3 fatty acids, high in protein, low in carbs, and very little saturated fat (source).
  • Multiple cooking options. I find pan-searing the best way to cook trout, but I’ve also included tips on how to grill trout and also oven-bake trout.
grilled rainbow trout.

Ingredients needed

  • Rainbow trout fillets. Choose boneless fillets (skin-on ones are fine!) which are easier to cook and absorb more flavor. I like to get my trout from the fishmonger, as it’s typically much fresher than a grocery store. When choosing trout, opt for fillets of equal size and light pink color (I’d describe it as a weak-colored salmon).
  • Olive oil and butter. Both fats are used for cooking and flavor. The butter also holds onto the garlic beautifully.
  • Lemon juice. Fresh lemon juice is preferred, but I find the bottled kind just as good.
  • Garlic. Please use freshly minced garlic, as it makes all the difference.
  • Kosher salt and black pepper. To taste.

How to cook rainbow trout

I’ve included step-by-step photos below to make this recipe easy to follow at home. For the full printable recipe instructions and ingredient quantities, scroll to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.

Step 1- Season. Pat dry the fish fillets with a paper towel before sprinkling salt and pepper and rubbing lemon juice on both sides. 

Step 2- Cook. Add the oil to a grill or cast iron skillet and cook the fish for 6-8 minutes, flipping halfway through. Add the butter, parsley, and garlic at the end. 

Step 3- Serve the freshly grilled fish with pan juices over the top. 

how to cook rainbow trout.

Alternative cooking methods

As I mentioned above, I’ve tested this recipe on the grill and also the oven so you can bake/air fry if you prefer.

Grill method: Grease a charcoal grill or grill pan and place over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the fillets and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side.

Oven method: Place the seasoned trout on a sheet pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F for 17-20 minutes.

Arman’s recipe tips

  • You’ll know the fish is cooked once it flakes easily with a fork and is crisp around the edges. If you want to triple-check, use a meat thermometer and make sure the internal temperature of the fish is 145F.
  • Use frozen rainbow trout fillets with minimal changes to the overall recipe. The only thing I suggest doing is to thaw it overnight in the fridge (as opposed to the day-of) so that it’s void of any water or ice before seasoning.
  • Use a rubber spatula to flip the fish, because it’s sturdy and easier to do than other utensils (trust me on that).
  • You can change up the seasonings by adding oregano, paprika, garlic powder, fresh dill, Rosemary, or any other fresh herbs.

How to serve rainbow trout

The beauty of this fish is that it is so perfect to pair with tons of sides or options. Here are several ways my family and I enjoy rainbow trout-

Storage instructions

To store: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three days. 

To freeze: Place the grilled and cooled fish in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to two months. 

Reheating: Microwave the fish for 30-40 seconds or reheat in a non-stick pan until crispy. 

pan seared rainbow trout.

Frequently asked questions

Can I use skinless trout?

Yes, you can! The only change you’d make is to grease the pan or grill very well to prevent the fish from sticking.

More delicious seafood dinners

rainbow trout recipe.

Seared Rainbow Trout Recipe

5 from 98 votes
This pan-seared rainbow trout recipe cooks in less than 10 minutes. It's flaky, tender, and comes with multiple cooking options. Watch the video below to see how I make it in my kitchen.
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 2 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
Total: 9 minutes



  • 4 rainbow trout fillets 4-6 ounces each
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 5 cloves garlic mincec


  • Pat dry the trout fillets before seasoning with salt and pepper. Rub the lemon juice all over each one.
  • Add the oil to a non-stick skillet or grill over medium heat. Place the trout fillets flesh side down onto the pan, pressing lightly so that it sears. Sear for 3-4 minutes, until crispy and golden. Flip and cook for a further two minutes. Add the butter, garlic, and a pinch of fresh parsley, and stir around each fillet. 
  • Remove from heat, drizzle with extra butter, and sprinkle with more parsley.


TO STORE: Leftovers can be stored in the refrigerator, covered, for up to three days. 
TO FREEZE: Place the grilled and cooled fish in an airtight container and store it in the freezer for up to two months. 
TO REHEAT: Microwave the fish for 30-40 seconds or reheat in a non-stick pan until crispy. 


Serving: 1servingCalories: 162kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 25gFat: 12gSodium: 359mgPotassium: 34mgFiber: 0.2gVitamin A: 265IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 12mgIron: 0.1mgNET CARBS: 2g
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Arman Liew
Tried this recipe?Give us a shout at @thebigmansworld or tag #thebigmansworld!

Originally published June 2022, updated and republished June 2024

Arman Liew

I’m a two time cookbook author, photographer, and writer, and passionate about creating easy and healthier recipes. I believe you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to make good food using simple ingredients that most importantly, taste delicious.

You May Also Like

5 from 98 votes (98 ratings without comment)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating